Common pochard

The common pochard (/ˈpɒtʃərd/; Aythya ferina) is a medium-sized diving duck. The scientific name is derived from Greek aithuia an unidentified seabird mentioned by authors including Hesychius and Aristotle, and Latin ferina, "wild game", from ferus, "wild".[2]

Common pochard
Aythya ferina Sandwell 2
Common pochard (Aythya ferina)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aythya
A. ferina
Binomial name
Aythya ferina
AythyaFerinaIUCNver2018 2
Range of A. ferina     Breeding      Resident      Non-breeding

Anas ferina Linnaeus, 1758


2011.06.20 pochard, St. James Park, London, UK 013c
Male common pochard, London, UK

The adult male has a long dark bill with a grey band, a red head and neck, a black breast, red eyes and a grey back. The adult female has a brown head and body and a narrower grey bill-band. The triangular head shape is distinctive. Pochards are superficially similar to the closely related North American redhead and canvasback.

Females give hoarse growls. Males have whistles cut off by a final nasal note aaoo-oo-haa.

Distribution and habitat

Their breeding habitat consists of marshes and lakes with a metre or more water depth. Pochards breed in much of temperate and northern Europe into Asia. They are migratory, and spend winter in the south and west of Europe.

In the British Isles, birds breed in eastern England and lowland Scotland, in small numbers in Northern Ireland with numbers increasing gradually, and sporadically in the Republic of Ireland, where it may also be increasing. While uncommon, individuals are also occasionally seen in the south of England, and small populations are sometimes observed on the River Thames. Large numbers stay overwinter in Great Britain, after the birds retreat from Russia and Scandinavia.


Aythya ferina MWNH 2003
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden, Germany

These are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks such as the tufted duck, with which they are known to hybridise.

These birds feed mainly by diving or dabbling. They eat aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night, and will up-end for food as well as the more characteristic diving. According to the article 'Patterns in the diving behaviour of the pochard, Aythya ferina: a test of an optimality model' Pochard's have a behavioral preference when it comes to their feeding patterns. This behavioral preference is that Pochards prefer shallower water in comparison to deeper water even though the food concentration in deeper water may be higher.

In number of countries the population of Common Pochard is decreasing mainly due to urbanization of the natural habitats and their transformation, as well as due to overhunting.[3] The pochard is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2015). "Aythya ferina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T22680358A82571892. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T22680358A82571892.en.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 64, 158. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) in Armenia. 2017. In online publication: "The State of Breeding Birds of Armenia". TSE NGO, Armenian Bird Census Council. Retrieved on 10 October 2017.

Further reading

  • Carbone, C.; Houston, A.I. (August 1994). "Patterns in the diving behaviour of the pochard, Aythya ferina: a test of an optimality model". Animal Behaviour. 48 (2): 457–465. doi:10.1006/anbe.1994.1259.

External links

Armash Important Bird Area

The Armash Important Bird Area (also known as Armash Fishponds) is an area of wetland near the town of Armash, in Armenia, in the foothills of Mount Ararat, and on the border with Turkey, and near the borders with Iran and Nakhchivan (an exclave of Azerbaijan). It is designated as an "Emerald Site" wildlife refuge since 2016. The 4,639 ha. site includes 1,514 ha. of ponds used for farming carp, fed by artesian wells and an irrigation canal from the Araks River.234 bird species have been recorded on the site, with 93 of them breeding. It is the only place in Armenia where White-headed Duck, White-tailed Lapwing, and Kentish Plover have been recorded as breeding. Other notable species present include Marbled Teal, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Northern Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Turtle Dove, and Pallid Harrier, all of which are globally threatened, as well as Savi's Warbler,, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, White-winged Tern, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Lesser Short-toed Lark, and European Roller.It is one of eighteen Important Bird Areas in Armenia.


Aythya is a genus of diving ducks. It has twelve described species. The name Aythya comes from the Ancient Greek word αυθυια, aithuia, which may have referred to a sea-dwelling duck or an auklet.Aythya shihuibas was described from the Late Miocene of China. Zelenkov (2016) transferred the species Anas denesi Kessler (2013), known from the late Miocene of Hungary, to the genus Aythya. An undescribed prehistoric species is known only from Early Pleistocene fossil remains found at Dursunlu, Turkey; it might however be referrable to a paleosubspecies of an extant species considering its age (see also Greater scaup).

The Miocene "Aythya" arvernensis is now placed in Mionetta, while "Aythya" chauvirae seems to contain the remains of two species, at least one of which does not seem to be a diving duck.

Black Moss Reservoirs

Upper and Lower Black Moss Reservoirs are reservoirs close to the village of Barley, in the Borough of Pendle, close to the market town of Burnley, England. The reservoirs provide drinking water to Nelson when needed.

Cefa Natural Park

The Cefa Natural Park (Romanian: Parcul Natural Cefa) is a protected area (natural park category V IUCN) situated in Romania, on the administrative territory of Bihor County.

Chhilchhila Wildlife Sanctuary

The Chhilchhila Wildlife Sanctuary (Hindi: छिलछिला वन्यजीव अभयारण्य), also known as Seonthi Reserve Forest, is located near Kurukshetra University in Kurukshetra district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is located in a depression which has a small lake created by an embankment. The sanctuary, as a staging and wintering ground of avifauna, has recorded (between April 2009 and March 2012) 57 species (33 winter migrants, 2 summer migrants and 22 resident species) of both resident and migrant wetland birds which belong to 37 genera and 16 families. Two species which have been classified Near Endangered have been identified in the sanctuary: the Oriental darter (Anhinga melanogaster) and the painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala).

Drigh Lake

Drigh Lake (Urdu: ڈرگ جھیل ‎) is situated in Qambar Shahdadkot District in Sindh, Pakistan, 29 kilometres (18 mi) from Larkana city and 7 kilometres (4 mi) from Qambar town. It has a surface area of 408 acres (165 ha) and the running length of the lake from North to South is about 5.64 Miles. Formed in the floods of 1814, 1815 and 1817. Drigh Lake is a favorable area for resident and winter migratory birds like night heron, grey heron, purple heron, great white egret, little egret, mallard, gadwal, pintail, shoveller, common teal, tufted duck, wigeon, osprey, marsh harrier, white breasted kingfisher, pied kingfisher, small blue kingfisher, purple galinule, white-breasted waterhen, moorhen, cormorant, common pochard, pied harrier, crow pheasant, darter, garganey, ferruginous duck, greater spotted eagle, moorhen, marbled teal and coot.Drigh Lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1972 and was designated as a Ramsar site recognized by the united nation as A World Heritage site in 1976.

Drigh lake is a privately owned property belonging to the "Shaikh" family DRIGH lake is a joint property of the Sardar noor Muhammad khan Shaikh.

Dignitaries who have visited the Drigh Dhand Apart from King George the 5th and Queen Mary Of England in 1918, Yasir Arafat, Raza Shah Pehlwi of Iran, Hafiz al-Asad of Syria, Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, Queen Elizabeth II of England and her husband Prince Philip, Shaikh Zahid of UAE, King Hussein of Jordan and former Pakistani leaders President of the state Field Martial General Ayub Khan, Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto Prime minister of Pakistan, President General Yahya Khan, and General Ziaul Haq when he was chief of army staff in the tenure of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Prime Minister ship.

Presently The Lake is under direct supervision of different members of the shaikh family.

Highwood, Wokingham

Highwood is a local nature reserve between Woodley and Earley. The nature reserve is owned and managed by Wokingham Borough Council.


Knockeyon (Irish: Cnoc Eoghain) is a hill in County Westmeath, Ireland. When viewed from the Ranaghan, and Gillardstown side of the hill, it dominates the surrounding lakes in the countryside of northern County Westmeath.

Lake Işıklı

Lake Işıklı (Turkish: Işıklı Gölü) is a freshwater lake in Turkey's inner Aegean Region extending on Çivril Plain between the provinces of Denizli and Afyonkarahisar. The lake is bordered by the boundaries of several districts, namely, clockwise Çivril (Denizli Province), the principal urban center of the region, and Kızılören, Dinar and Evciler (Afyonkarahisar Province). A township on the lake shore and that is part of Çivril district carries the same name as the lake (Işıklı).

The lake lies at an altitude of 821 m and its area is 73 square kilometres. Its waters fed by streams are used for irrigation for the surrounding agricultural lands and the lake is also an important fishing and aquaculture center at regional scale.

Lake Işıklı is an important site for breeding waterbirds and large numbers of wintering wildfowl. It has been proposed as an Important Bird Area. Some of the species that breed or migrate through Lake Işıklı are; greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), common pochard (Aythya ferina), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca), squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides), pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), common coot (Fulica atra), gull-billed tern (Sterna nilotica), whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybrida).

Lilla Värtan

Lilla Värtan (Swedish: Smaller Värtan) or simply Värtan is a strait in Stockholm, Sweden. Separating mainland Stockholm from the island and municipality Lidingö, it stretches from Blockhusudden in the south to Stora Värtan in the north, and is joined by the Stocksundet mid-way. Two bridges, collectively called Lidingöbron ("Lidingö Bridge") stretch over the strait.

While most of the coasts surrounding the strait are occupied by industries and the ferry terminals and oil tanks in the harbour area of Värtahamnen, natural beaches are found in both the southern and the northern end of the strait and the strait forms part of the Royal National City Park.Most common fish species are Baltic herring, sea trout, and salmon. Stationary predator fishes, e.g. northern pike and perch, are exposed to raised levels of mercury.The area is considered an important wintering location for several birds species, including swans, Eurasian coot, common pochard, tufted duck, black-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, gadwall, and common tern. The strait constitutes an important locale, especially ice-free winters, besides the lake Isbladskärret on Djurgården.Vegetation on the shore lines of Lilla Värtan includes alder, purple loosestrife, common valerian, yellow loosestrife, reed canary-grass, tall fescue, lesser periwinkle, and giant knotweed.Levels of heavy metals and organic waste are high in the bottom silt and nutrient levels high in the water. The level of phosphorus was 29 µg/l in 2005.

List of birds of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

This is a list of birds of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands. (A) means bird species is accidental / rare.

The Wake Island rail was a species endemic to Wake Island, but it is now extinct. The Laysan duck is endemic to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (which includes Midway Atoll — Midway Atoll is part of the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, not the state of Hawaii). The endemic and critically-endangered Nihoa finch was extirpated from Midway Atoll.

Because the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands is a statistical area with no organized government, it has no official bird (unlike the states and four out of five of the inhabited territories).

Llyn Alaw

Llyn Alaw (English: Lily Lake) is a man-made reservoir on Anglesey, North Wales managed by Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water. It is a shallow lake and was built in 1966. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a destination for over-wintering birds.

Metsamor Important Bird Area

Metsamor Important Bird Area is a 10,296-hectare (25,440-acre) region of Armenia designated by BirdLife International, as an "Important Bird Area" (IBA) with the main aim of protecting bird species and habitats. The area is also recognized as Emerald Site and Key Biodiversity Area.The IBA is located in Ararat Plain of Armenia and is represented by combination of wetlands, semi-desert, and mosaic arable lands.Overall there are 225 bird species recorded in this area, including 92 breeding species and 133 migratory and wintering ones.The area hosts globally threatened Common Pochard, Northern Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, European turtle dove, Pallid Harrier; Nationally threatened Levant Sparrowhawk, Black-winged Stilt, Savii's Warbler; as well as for the species included in Appendix II of the Bern Convention, such as White Stork, Roller, Syrian Woodpecker, and Lesser Grey Shrike.

The area was designated as an IBA in 2002. It is one of eighteen Important Bird Areas in Armenia.

Patna Bird Sanctuary

Patna Bird Sanctuary is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh's Etah district encompassing a lentic lake that is an important wintering ground for migrating birds. It was founded in 1991 and covers an area of 1.09 km2 (0.42 sq mi). With a lake area of only 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi), it is the smallest bird sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.

The water quality of the lake supports a wide range of avifauna during winter season. The entire lake area gets covered by profuse growth of macrophytic vegetation of water hyacinth and Potamogeton species during summers.

About 200,000 birds of 300 different bird species frequent the sanctuary. More than 106 species of migratory and resident birds are known to have their resting habitats around the lake. The important aquatic birds inhabiting lake are:

Lesser whistling-duck

Graylag goose

Comb duck

Ruddy shelduck


Eurasian wigeon

Indian spot-billed duck

Northern shoveler

Northern pintail

Green-winged teal

Common pochard

Ferruginous duck

Baer's pochard

Tufted duck

Indian peafowl

Common quail

Black francolin

Gray francolin

Little grebe

Asian openbill

Woolly-necked stork

Black-necked stork

Little cormorant

Great cormorant

Purple heron

Cattle egret

Indian pond-heron

Black-headed ibis

Red-naped ibis

Eurasian spoonbill

Black-shouldered kite

Egyptian vulture

Booted eagle

Bonelli's eagle


Black kite

Eurasian coot

Sarus crane

Black-winged stilt

Black-tailed godwit

Laughing dove

Greater coucal

Rose-ringed parakeet

Plum-headed parakeet

Long-tailed shrike

Black drongo

Rufous treepie

Ashy-crowned sparrow-lark

Bengal bushlark

Red-vented bulbul

Plain leaf warbler

Ashy prinia

Plain prinia

Common babbler

Oriental magpie-robin

Brahminy starling

Common myna

Bank myna

Purple sunbird

Indian silverbill

Scaly-breasted munia


Pochard include the following species of diving ducks:

Three species in the genus Aythya:

Common pochard, Aythya ferina

Baer's pochard, Aythya baeri

Madagascar pochard, Aythya innotata

Three species in the genus Netta:

Red-crested pochard, Netta rufina

Rosy-billed pochard or Rosybill, Netta peposaca

Southern pochard, Netta erythrophthalma

Redhead (bird)

The redhead (Aythya americana) is a medium-sized diving duck. The scientific name is derived from Greek aithuia an unidentified seabird mentioned by authors including Hesychius and Aristotle, and Latin americana, of America. The redhead is 37 cm (15 in) long with an 84 cm (33 in) wingspan. It belongs to the genus Aythya, together with 11 other described species. The redhead and the common pochard form a sister group which together is sister to the canvasback.The redhead goes by many names, including the red-headed duck and the red-headed pochard. This waterfowl is easily distinguished from other ducks by the male’s copper coloured head and bright blue bill during the breeding season.

Thanedar Wala

Thanedar Wala is a game reserve and wetland Ramsar site, located 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Lakki, Lakki Marwat District (formerly in Bannu District), North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Most of the area consists of a complex of braided river channels and sandy or muddy islands up to 4 km (2.5 mi) wide. The site covers 4,047 ha (10,000 acres). It supports wintering great egret, ruddy shelduck, common teal, mallard, northern shoveller, common pochard and ferruginous duck. Collared pratincole and little tern breed on the reserve.Thanedar Wala was designated a Ramsar site on July 23, 1976. A monitoring mission in May 1990 recommended that it be retained on the Ramsar List.

Wraysbury No 1 Gravel Pit

Wraysbury No 1 Gravel Pit is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) based in Wraysbury, Berkshire. The site is a lowland lake.

Wraysbury and Hythe End Gravel Pits

Wraysbury and Hythe End Gravel Pits is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) based in Wraysbury,Berkshire. The site is important for the number of bird species it features.


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